Trends from FHA Singapore 2024

A roundup of the latest F&B trends featured

A few of our experts attended FHA - Food & Beverage in Singapore a little while ago and shared some of their insights with us. Naturally, we wanted to share them with you!

Rob Hall, CEO of Brand4Humans, saw several trends linked to healthier and more sustainable offerings. 

Rob highlighted how most F&B brands are starting to show better market orientation by trying to make their products more accessible and convenient, and this can be seen in most of his insights below. 

He also found that across almost every category – from frozen foods to meats, dairy to snacks – there were many more premium and indulgent versions of products being created, an indication that premiumization continues to be a strong trend for the industry as a whole. 

Here are Rob’s top trends from FHA Singapore 2024.

Plant-based meat gets more flavor and convenience 

The last 12-18 months have been tough for the plant-based and alternative meat sectors and it shows. So it wasn’t surprising that there was a much lower profile for many local and international alternative meat brands at FHA this year. On the other hand, the traditional meat industry was back with a major presence.

What was noticeable for some plant-based brands was their focus on going beyond the broad-based category and focusing on local and new flavors as well as more RTE (Ready to Eat) convenience. For Asian-based brands, this approach makes a lot of sense as they build or re-build a stronger mass market audience base. Brands present at the event in this space included Thoughtful Food and Zac Meat.

ZAC Meat, one of Singapore’s leading halal sausage and cold cuts brands, extended its portfolio with a range of 11 ready-to-eat offerings. This includes five plant-based options made primarily from soy. 

Zero sugar everywhere

While plant-based meat may be undergoing rehabilitation, zero-sugar food and beverage products continue their meteoric rise. Whether it's chocolate, snacks, dairy, beverages, or sauces/cooking products, it's clear that the zero/low sugar movement is here to stay.

There was a big range of sugar alternatives being used – from natural to synthetic – across the range of products at FHA Singapore. It will be interesting to see how that evolves with plenty of discussions around how “healthy” some of these sugar alternatives actually are.

Some of the zero/low sugar brands present at the expo included IKO biscuits, The Ice Cream & Cookie Co., and Go & Fun Natural Energy Drinks.

The non-alcoholic revolution continues

The ongoing growth of the non-alcoholic sector continues – from new and emerging brands as well as from traditional beverage brands investing more in non-alcoholic options. What I noticed in the category is the wide range of product types and usage occasion options, be it the development of non-alcoholic ciders (Eclor), non-alcoholic spritzers, non-alcoholic beers (Sobah), and non-alcoholic cocktails/mocktails (Gryphon Tea Co). Not to mention all the non-alcoholic wines at the ProWine show. There's still plenty of growth and opportunity left across all of these beverage occasions. 

Chinese F&B brand presence

It was hard not to notice the sheer volume of Chinese F&B participants at this year's show. While I didn't personally take a deep dive into the Chinese products at the show, it's clear from the FHA's website that China has a growing number of zero sugar and clean label products coming to market and are now being exported. A few of the more common sugar substitutes used in China include cyclamates, aspartame, sucralose, stevia and stevia derivatives.

I also saw the Genki Forrest (Chi Forrest) zero sugar beverage from China at distributor stands at the show. Genki Forest is China’s fastest growing beverage brand. The low-calorie, low-sugar products they manufacture have captured the market of Chinese Generation Z and Millennials, and are now expanding across 40 countries around the world, including Japan, Singapore, Thailand and several other markets across APAC. Stay tuned for many more ‘healthier for you’ Chinese F&B brands looking to expand regionally and globally.

Practical sustainability

Over the last year, I've seen at trade shows brands pulling back from making big claims or promoting their products’ sustainability. This is a result of increasing claims of greenwashing and growing concern over the commercial viability of sustainable products and brands. 

In line with this, at the Sustainability Hall of the expo, there were plenty of examples of what I'd call “Practical Sustainability” – brands showcasing ethical sourcing, sustainable packaging, waste management, and even tools for sharing carbon tracking and energy consumption with customers/stakeholders. It’s good to see the move towards showing tangible sustainable benefits to customers and partners rather than massive overpromises.

Functional wellness

Last but not least, there were plenty of examples of functional wellness – providing vitamins, nutrition, energy boost, and specific health & beauty benefits. Making wellness more enjoyable to taste and easier to consume is obviously a major trend, for both kids and adults. A few of the examples I saw included Mood Food mindful energy snacks for kids from Australia to Well'logy functional health & beauty drinks from Synova Thailand. 

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Kelvin Ng, Managing Partner at Green Bridge Partners and another GourmetPro expert, shared with us a few exciting developments for the future of food on display at the expo.


There has definitely been an increase in the number of companies in Singapore looking to supply the country with a wide variety of locally grown mushrooms, like Spore Gardens. This is in line with the larger trend in Singapore to address issues of food security and resilience, which has seen the growth in hydroponic and aeroponic farming.

In addition to merely cultivating ultra-fresh mushrooms locally, Spore Garden’s technology also enables them to grow them virtually anywhere. 

Autonomous fast food kiosk

At FHA this year, Rolo Robotics unveiled the world’s first fully integrated, autonomous fast food kiosk system called Maya. The system combines AI and robotics to prepare fried food and serve it to a consumer as a combo meal (main dish, sides, beverage). Maya can to handle multiple orders concurrently and offers customisable options such as seasoning, sauce, crispiness levels. It also features self-cleaning technology and is designed to operate 24/7 unattended.

As the food service industry sees increasing labor shortages, expect to see more autonomous systems coming into play for different processes. 

You can watch Maya in action here.

Carbon neutral prawns

Malaysian company Sento Biotech has an innovative alternative to standard aquaculture feed which depends on fishmeal and fish oil, whose production generates large amounts of greenhouse gasses. Instead of these marine ingredients, the company uses plant-based ingredients and Black Soldier Fly to create more sustainable aquafeed.  

The company manipulates the feeding substrate of Black Soldier Fly larvae with nutrient-rich and native plants like Sesbania grandiflora or Hummingbird Leaves. These plants cannot be used directly as fishmeal and are instead converted to feeding substrates for the larvae. This ensures that the nutrients from the plants are absorbed and retained. 

The sesbania-based substrate is said to address issues regarding the origin of the feeding substrate, food hygiene, and food security. This can also bring down the price of feed, the biggest expense for aquaculture farmers. 

Using this sustainable and circular feed system, Sento Biotech has developed a carbon-neutral freshwater prawn aquaculture system.

In case you missed our recent webinar on creating new coffee products and experiences…

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